Divorces can become an even more complicated issue when a spouse has acquired a high net worth. These divorces include more assets that need to be considered when dividing property between the divorcing couple. While many of the same topics can be involved in the divorce, there may be numerous factors contributing to the complexity of these kinds of divorces. High net worth individuals have a greater number of assets and debts that have accrued over time. This can require more time being spent on the division of assets during the divorce process. With this process, you should seek the help of our professional attorneys to provide you with the legal counsel you need.
What is equitable distribution?
In the state of New Jersey, equitable distribution is practiced in divorce cases. This is to ensure a fair allocation of marital assets. However, this does not mean the distribution will be equal. The final decision on the distribution is made by a judge after the consideration of many factors. Equitable distribution is a concept used to provide a fair and just division of assets, not an equal division.
What makes a high net worth divorce so different?
Since high net worth individuals often possess more assets, the division of these can become more time-consuming in divorce proceedings. These divorces can be impacted by prenuptial agreements, 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, IRAs, restricted stock or stock options, business ownership, professional licenses, involved tax structures and planning, offshore assets, bonuses that do not vest immediately, real estate holdings and widespread investments. All of these factors may contribute to an individual’s net worth, making it valued as higher.
Whether you are the high net worth spouse or your spouse is, you should seek legal counsel. As someone with a high net worth, you want to make sure that your rights are protected since you may have to face an investigation into your assets to disclose your final net worth. If you are the opposing party, you should also have someone working on your behalf to provide a fair outcome.
What factors do judges consider when deciding on the distribution of assets?
When judges are distributing the assets among divorcing couples, they have many aspects to consider. These factors include the duration of the marriage, the age of both parties, the health of both parties, the income or property brought to the marriage by each spouse, the established standard of living, any written agreements made before or during the marriage relating to property distribution, economic circumstances of each party, the income and earning capacity of each party and much more. For these cases, assets that were acquired prior to the marriage are not subject to equitable distribution. Assets that are acquired as a gift or inheritance are also not subject to equitable distribution. This is because these assets are considered to be separate property.
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